(40 minutes)

A video by Dane Archer and Mark Costanzo

The INTERPERSONAL PERCEPTION TASK (IPT) is a videotape about nonverbal communication and social perception. Unlike most videotapes, the IPT gives viewers an opportunity for active participation. Viewers are asked to guess or "decode" something about each of the IPT scenes. Viewers see 30 brief scenes, each 30 to 60 seconds long. After each scene, there is an opportunity to answer a question. In one scene, the viewer sees a woman talking on the telephone. Immediately after this scene, the IPT video asks the viewer whether the woman is talking to (a) her mother, (b) a close female friend, or (c) her boyfriend.

In another scene, the viewer sees two men who have just played basketball; the viewer is asked to decide which man won the basketball game. In a third scene, the viewer sees a woman giving two descriptions of her childhood; the viewer is asked to decide which description is a lie.

The 30 IPT scenes depict five common types of social judgments-- intimacy, competition, deception, kinship, and status. After each scene, the viewer has a chance to "decode" something important about what he or she has just seen. The viewer can try to determine the correct answer by "reading" nonverbal behavior--perhaps a facial expression, tone of voice, gesture, touch, glance, or hesitation.

The 30 IPT scenes contain a full range of spontaneous nonverbal behaviors in context. For each scene, there is an OBJECTIVELY correct answer.

The IPT comes with a 15-page GUIDE FOR INSTRUCTORS AND RESEARCHERS, blank answer sheets, a "key" containing the correct answers, and a list of references concerning nonverbal communication research. The IPT is a valuable tool for research on nonverbal communication and also provides an excellent demonstration videotape for classes in a wide variety of fields: psychology, sociology, anthropology, communication, education, linguistics, and mass media.

What reviewers are saying about the INTERPERSONAL PERCEPTION TASK:

"This is a unique, high-quality videotape which can be used productively in both research and teaching.... I've found that the testing format of the tape challenges my students and they are eager to discuss and analyze the various verbal and nonverbal signals associated with the different messages (lying, power, status, intimacy and kinship) and the different modes of interaction (telephone, face-to-face, and face-to-camera). The IPT will be a valuable resource for anyone whose work focuses on the subtleties of social perceptions. Thus, researchers and teachers in communication, psychology, sociology, nonverbal behavior, ethology, semiotics, anthropology, medicine and discourse analysis will find this videotape of great value."
--Mark L. Knapp, University of Texas, co-author of NONVERBAL COMMUNICATION IN HUMAN INTERACTION

"It's a real boon to nonverbal researchers to have a test of nonverbal ability that (a) presents both women and men, (b) in real-life situations, (c) in a good quality production, in color, and in such an accessible medium as videotape...The choices on the answer sheet are straightforward and plausible, and the questions it asks are of the type we think about every day."
--Nancy Henley, University of California at Los Angeles, author of BODY POLITICS

"I like to use the test in class as a starting point for discussions of issues such as (a) different approaches to the measurement of nonverbal sensitivity, (b) determining which cues really are cues to intimacy, status, deception, etc., and (c) the distinction between actual and perceived cues to (say) deception....My students have always enjoyed it."
--Bella M. DePaulo, University of Virginia, author of "Telling Lies"